Vacation rentals can provide an excellent alternative to staying in hotels while traveling, but there are possible pitfalls you need to know before you book with VRBO or Airbnb.
By David Goldstein
My wife and I have been booking vacation rentals through VRBO (vacation rentals by owner) and Airbnb for almost 20 years.
Both platforms offer great options for travelers who are looking for something a little different than a typical hotel experience. We enjoy the freedom that having our own place in a foreign city allows. We grocery shop in the local markets, explore the neighborhood bakeries, and start to get a sense of new cultures.
While I wouldn’t go so far as to say… Continue reading
As baby boomers whose ages put us at risk for COVID-19, my wife and I have spent the past few months mostly hunkered down at home — a sad but prudent fate for this travel writer itching to confront his bucket list without literally kicking it.
While the fact that Tucson’s temperatures have topped 100 degrees most of the summer has made hibernation somewhat easier, the pandemic has made it difficult to escape that very heat — so that’s been kind of a wash.
But recently — as our contributing writer Robert Waite suggested in a post on this site back in the spring — I decided to take some “baby steps” and get out of town for a few days. Hence the Tucson branch of our family headed to a… Continue reading
While travel searches took a big hit the last couple of months — off by almost two-thirds in total — many people are still dreaming about, and planning for, their future vacations.
According to the folks at rentcafe.com, a nationwide apartment search website and a research blog, 42 percent of those surveyed still want to pursue their travel plans when permitted. But which destinations are holding strong during the pandemic?
To find out, RENTCafe analyzed travel-related Google searches for 960 destinations in the U.S. and then ranked them as top overall destinations, towns, beaches, and natural areas that saw the smallest drop in interest from would-be vacationers.
The survey followed Google travel searches during March and April of this year. All searched destinations were off by at least 25… Continue reading
You may have experienced it yourself when battling humongous lines to enter San Marco in Venice, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, or the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, or when you found yourself in a wave of fellow travelers struggling to get a peek at the changing of the guard at palaces in London, Athens, or Prague.
You may have been put off by hordes of drunken revelers in Amsterdam, Mallorca, or Berlin (of which, we trust, you were not one yourself).
You may have found small Alaskan ports or Croatian islands too overrun by your fellow cruise ship passengers to appreciate the beauty that attracted you to such cruise itineraries in the first place.
You may have sought out privacy in Iceland’s hot springs, only to find them packed with Game of Thrones fans drawn… Continue reading
It’s often fun to fantasize about buying a vacation home.
Where I live now in the desert, my thoughts sometimes turn to owning beachfront property. When I lived in upstate New York, with its cold, snowy winters, I found myself dreaming about snapping up a little vacation spot in the tropics.
I never took the plunge into actually purchasing, but many baby boomers have — or are seriously considering it.
Today’s guest post, by Jim McKinley, offers some sound advice on what to do and think about before you sign on the dotted line. (And by the way, I’ve been told I make an excellent house guest.)
By Jim McKinley
The current housing market means that now is as good a time as ever to purchase a vacation home — preferably providing both a getaway and a good investment.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your homework before… Continue reading
Third in a Series
Arriving in the Shinjuku train station, Tokyo’s busiest, can be a bit intimidating, especially after a trans-Pacific flight with little sleep and in the middle of rush hour.
An unfailingly polite people in every other way, Japanese commuters plow through the station like bullet trains, with little deference to gobsmacked tourists staring in bewilderment at the maze of signs and passageways. These folks appeared to be on a mission, and accomplishing that mission — getting to wherever it is they’re going — wasn’t about to let us stand in their way.
If you don’t like crowds, you might want to avoid Tokyo — the world’s largest metropolitan area at nearly 38,000,000 people — and beat a quick retreat to the Japanese countryside.
Fortunately, our Airbnb host, Yasu, had provided us with a video of… Continue reading
In Part 2 of our multi-part series on travel deals and discounts for active-duty military and vets, Alex Miller, writing for upgradedpoints.com, takes a look at websites and airlines that offer special airfares for military personnel past and present.
Following that up, Miller then details websites that offer deals on resorts and other lodging options for veterans.
To read Miller’s previous post, which outlined a number of websites dedicated to travel (and other) deals for the military, go here.
By Alex Miller
Booking Flights as a Military Veteran
The following websites provide discounted flight booking for veterans:
Fourth in a Series:
During my week on the Greek island of Milos, I saw no Mexican restaurants, no sushi bars, no French bistros, or even a Chinese take-out joint.
Yes, there were casual cafes that served pizza, burgers, or crepes as part of their offerings, but no dedicated ethnic eateries or American fast-food places.
All this was fine with me. My family and I ate Greek food three times a day — more if you count the occasional snack — and never got tired of it.
Not only was it almost invariably fresh and delicious, but the variety in selection and preparation far surpassed what you might expect to find in a Greek restaurant in the United States. Our diet went way beyond the familiar gyros,… Continue reading
Milos — one of Greece’s sun-soaked Cycladic islands that include the better known Mykonos and Santorini — had not been on my radar until a Greek-American friend of ours suggested it might be the perfect place for a three-generation vacation.
The three generations? My wife, Catharine, and I — first-time grandparents as of six months ago — our son, Grael; daughter-in-law, Nona; and our young grandson, Conrad, making his first trip abroad, brand new passport in hand. (Well, not in his hands — though he would have liked to have gotten hold of it, along with anything dangling and shiny.)
Because we’d all be traveling with a baby, we didn’t want anything too hectic and crowded — that eliminated Mykonos and Santorini — but we did want a good choice of lodgings, restaurants, cafes, and beaches, as… Continue reading
Did you know July is National Vacation Rental Month?
I didn’t either until I was sent a copy of a survey taken by Wyndham Vacation Rentals, the world’s largest professional manager of vacation rental properties, which queried more than 11,000 vacation rental travelers on their travel preferences.
It seems that “older individuals” (read: baby boomers aged 55+) prefer traveling with friends more than younger age groups do.
According to the survey, 36 percent of those aged 55 and over prefer to travel with friends when they rent vacation properties, compared to 29 percent of those aged 35-54 (which does include some younger boomers) and 26 percent for those aged 25-34.
Women in general, meanwhile, like to bring their own parents along (for obvious reasons, these women would tend to be in the younger age groups),… Continue reading